Orson Charles, drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, was considered to be one of the top tight ends coming into the draft. When drafted, the Bengals were expected to use him to complement tight end Jermaine Gresham. They had not intended to use him to start implementing the two tight end system, but he was to be used in a role that would see him taking snaps from Gresham and in some cases lining up alongside him or opposite him. Last season he only had eight receptions for 101 yards, and there were questions after the season on what his role in the team would be in 2013.
Then the NFL Draft happened. The Bengals drafted tight end Tyler Eifert in the first round, rendering Charles obsolete in the position as the team decided that they will use their current Pro Bowl tight end Gresham and their new future star Eifert to implement their new tight end system. During the offseason, the Bengals also decided to pick up free agent tight end Alex Smith who was dropped by the Cleveland Browns at the beginning of the year. All of this culminated in a long, dark road for Charles, one that might not have ended with him as a tight end with the Bengals anymore.
Luckily for Charles, he has a lot of upside. At 6’3″ and 250lbs, Charles is quite clearly a big guy that has the speed and quick hands that could be an asset to the team elsewhere. This week at OTAs, the Bengals decided to move Charles to the fullback position to take reps here instead. Although the Bengals already have two fullbacks in Chris Pressley and John Conner, this position seems like a future job for Charles and competing for this position seems more reasonable.
Simon Greene – Cincinnati Bengals Writer. Follow Simon on Twitter @simongreene88